(349) “Travels through Spain in the Years 1775 and 1776; in which several Monuments of Roman and Moorish Architecture are illustrated by accurate Drawings taken on the spot. By Henry Swinburne.” London, 1779, 4to. Mr. Swinburne also published, in 1783-5 his “Travels in the Two Sicilies during the Years 1777-8-9, and 1780.” This celebrated traveller was the youngest son of Sir John Swinburne, of Capheaton, Northumberland; the long-established seat of that ancient Roman Catholic family. Pecuniary embarrassments, arising from the marriage of his daughter to Paul Benfield, Esq. and consequent involvement in the misfortunes of that adventurer, induced him to obtain a Place in the newly-ceded settlement of Trinidad, where he died in 1803.-E.
(350) “Calypso” was brought out at Covent-Garden theatre, but was performed only a few nights. \ It was imprudently ushered in by a prelude, in which the author treated the newspaper editors as a set of unprincipled fellows.-E.
The penetration, solidity, and taste, that made you the first of historians, dear Sir, prevent my being surprised at your being the best writer of controversial pamphlets too.(352) I have read you with more precipitation than such a work deserved, but I could not disobey you and detain it. Yet even in that hurry I could discern, besides a thousand beauties and strokes of wit, the inimitable eighty-third page, and the conscious dignity that you maintain throughout, over your monkish antagonists. When you are so superior in argument, it would look like insensibility to the power of your reasoning, to select transient passages for commendation; and yet I must mention one that pleased me particularly, from the delicacy of the severity, and from its novelty too; it is, bold is not the word. This is the feathered arrow of Cupid, that is more formidable than the club of Hercules. I need not specify thanks, when I prove how much I have been pleased. Your most obliged.
(351) Now first collected.
(352) Gibbon’s celebrated “Vindication” of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Chapters of his History appeared early in the year 1779. “I adhered,” he says in his Memoirs, “to the wise resolution of trusting myself and my writing to the candour of the public, till Mr. Davis of Oxford presumed to attack, not the faith but the fidelity of the historian. My Vindication, expressive of less anger than contempt,